Hampi - Queen’s Bath & Zenana Enclosure (Ballari - Karnataka)

The whole of Vijayanagara city was built in 1343 to 1565. The architecture was a beautiful mixture of the existing Hindu architecture and the Indo-Islamic architecture brought in by the Bahmani Sultanates who were wiped off by Krishna Deva Raya, the star king of Vijayanagara Empire. As I said in the last post, Orange County Hampi has its own inhouse historian and guides. Our exploration in Hampi began with Mr.Ramesh and we started off with the Islamic area! 



The first place we went to was Queen’s Bath. This is a large square pool (ofcourse has no water today)! From the exterior it does look plain but the interiors are beautifully carved. There’s a passage all around the pool and there are some balconies. The ceiling of the passage is filled with ornate plaster work and so are the balconies. 

There is a staircase from inside that leads to the terrace that is closed today. The water from the reservoir outside, is brought in using a passage made of granite. Check it out close, that’s a single piece of well-polished granite that’s about 7ft long. 
From here we went over to The Zenana Enclosure. The only 2 standing structures of Zenana Enclosure are the watch towers and the Lotus Mahal. The Lotus Mahal is kinda one of the few structures in a very good condition. The base structure does remind me of Belur & Halabidu. The dome however is in a lotus shape which lends it its name! Climbing it (I mean even its platform, let alone the ceiling) is not allowed today! The arches are just perfect in symmetry and alignment! The very Vijayanagara style of Pushpa Podhigai are atop several pillars!

The base is filled with several rows of relief sculptures. Yes, one of the buildings in Orange County has been designed with this as the inspiration! The outer arches alone were surrounded by more relief sculptures and a couple of medallions as well. There were a couple of lions that were attached to corbels! But then, there were just 1 or 2, rest all were gone!!! 
This also has a first floor. I was told that the first floor has some unique set up like a fountain that helps to keep the whole chamber cool!!! A few yards away from it, is one of the three standing watchtowers! 

From here at a walkable distance is a square. On the 2 sides of it are the Elephant Stable and Soldiers’ Barrack! Elephant Stables is a series of 11 chamber with 3 types of domes atop. Atop the central chamber has a 2 tiered tower atop it! All the entrances are arched doorways and between them is a small arched chamber as well. The walls that separate the chambers also has an arched opening on them! 


Beside this is the Soldier’s Barracks. Unlike the Elephant Stables, this is on an elevated platform. It has a corridor and a central courtyard. The central courtyard is open to sky and the corridor has a roof. This is used as a museum today for the sculptures from the temples here (yes, there are 3 on-site museums in Hampi).

A walk from here, takes to the Queen’s Palace, or rather the base of it! There are a few rows of sculptures on it as well! Just beside it is another watchtower! On the way to Hazare Rama Temple, from here, is the Pan Supari Bazaar. About Hazare Rama Temple and more is coming up. Stay tuned!!!


To Get There:
From Bangalore: 343km via NH48 & NH50
From Hyderabad: 373km via NH44
From Goa: 316km via NH67
From Pattadakkal (another UNESCO site): 135km via NH50
From Orange County Resort: 9km
Map of all important sites: hampi.in

These sites are covered in The Raya Trail organized as a guided tour by Orange County Resort.
Each trail costs Rs.1000/- per head as a group.
If you want it exclusive just for you it costs Rs.4000/- for 2 trails (+ Rs.1000/- incl vehicle).
If you want a guide for yourself for the whole day it costs Rs.8000/-

Otherwise, KSTDC certified guides (they carry an ID card mentioning the same) can be hired at the Tourism Office or Ticket Office located in the premises of Virupaksha Temple, Sasivekalu Ganesha and Vittala Temple. The prices are Rs.1200 for 2-3hrs and Rs.1700 for 5-6hrs for upto 3 persons. For a larger group, the price would be higher. Also they are highly adaptable to your requirements / interest area etc and they could also meet you at your hotel and begin from there!
Ph no: of Prakash, one of the certified guides: +91 94820 61626

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

32 comments:

  1. Bhushavali, Nice to read. Excellent pics.
    May i suggest that it is better to mention the dates of your visits. Since you have given the rates for various services, the date will be helpful to get an idea.

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    1. Usually the blog posts are written & published as early as possible after the visit. This was hardly less than a month ago.

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  2. I'd love to visit this place one day! The Hindu flair and details remind me of some of the temples and ruins we've seen in Bali and Siem Reap, which we absolutely adored. The elephant stables are very cool- I'm just trying to picture in my head what it must've looked like centuries ago!

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  3. Hampi is so majestic that when I saw it for the first time, I fell silent in its admiration. I also found Queen’s bath one of the most interesting ruins there. For many years no body in North India and elsewhere knew about Hampi. I am glad that is not the case anymore, thanks to the writers like you.

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  4. Wow! Queen's Bath looks so magical! The intricacy of the architecture is simply amazing! The carvings on the structures are so detailed and beautiful. These remind me of the temples O visited in Siem Reap, particularly Banteay Srei because of the pinkish color. I love all your photos. Very impressive!

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  5. This place has such a history and the buildings seem to be in immaculate condition! For me the most impressive structure is the Lotus Mahal, someone spent a lot of time on this! I was just looking at the distances from Bangalore or Goa, if you drove that far in England you'd be in the sea! India is huge!

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  6. I can imagine how beautiful and full of life this place used to be in the past. From the way it has been built I can imagine how peaceful must have been walking from the Lotus Mahal to the Elephant Stables, which by the way have a gorgeous architecture. It's also impressive that there are 3 museums on site!

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  7. I have never heard of this place but it looks amazing. Its the type of place that I love to visit. I haven't made it to India yet and I am not sure that a 3 month trip is going to be long enough for all the amazing things there are to see!!

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  8. Interesting place! I love the old buildings and the architecture, very intricate and well done.

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  9. It is incredible how much detail you can find in the walls of these structures. Even the Queens Bath which hardly looks impressive on the outside has intricate detailing on the inside. I love the look of the Zenana Enclosure, both the outside and inside!

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  10. Such beautiful structures with fabulous detail. One can only wonder how long some of these took to build and what it looked like back in its prime. Stunning architecture with so much character - it makes me want to visit to see it for myself.

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  11. Sounds like such an interesting place!! So much history and the architecture is just out of this world. I'd never heard of Hampi but I hope we can include it on our next visit to India, I'd love to see these ruins in real life.

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  12. Wow, the architecture here is so amazing! I feel like I could look at these pictures forever so I can only imagine how great it was to see it in person

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  13. The Queen's bath had me fascinated too. Did you see those massage tables there? And the inlet for the water pipes. Amazing right? And the watchtower, though in shambles was quite an impressive structure. Hampi is just so amazing

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  14. I love how you include all the details about how to get there etc. I would absolutely love to visit here one day!! So much history seems to be within those walls. Those lines in the opening of the doors are magnificent!

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  15. The architecture is breathtakingly beautiful. And there's so much history behind it all. I like that you've added details on how to get there. Makes it easier for curious travelers to find it :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing this amazing place. Looks beautiful and definitely worth a visit. I like you have included so many photos in the article!

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  17. Hampi looks so majestic. The ruins are all have so much history attached to them and those details are gorgeous. The Elephant Stables look so cool. And I love the Queen's Bath. The architecture is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Hampi has been on our list for a few years now. Hope to explore it soon. Interesting details of the history and architecture in this post. Do they have audio guides available too, in case someone wan to use those for the tour?

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  19. You can really get to appreciate the heritage in the Queen's Bath. It's definitely worth exploring.

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  20. Hampi has got a beautiful architecture and a lovely place to explore to enjoy the beauty. Queen's Bath is actually a royal treat.

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  21. Didn't know about this place! I really liked your pictures and the recommendations. I'm in love with the architecture of this place and I hope I can visit it when I go to India. Thanks a lot for sharing!!

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  22. Once again you have beautiful photos and an interesting part of Indian history. I would be so excited to see elephant stables. I am so impressed with the ornate decoration of the Queen's bath as well. I'd love to see it in person.

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  23. That was another great discovery, thanks for the post! I had never heard of this place before, but I’m fascinated by it now! The details on the rock are just incredible

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  24. What a wonderful place. I like places with epic history like the one you posted here. I'll add this to my travel wishlist. Thanks!

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  25. I am a fan of architecture, history, culture. This post is very interesting. We need to preserve this kind of structures so that younger generations can see it.

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  26. These ruins are beautiful!!! The designs are all intricate and very detailed. You should have yook your ootd here

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  27. Those walls. WOW. I always get lost in the intricate details in the buildings from your photos. It makes me want to pack my bags and go explore the Hampi Queens Bath.

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  28. There is so much of India I have not heard of before. These seem to be a very interesting place to visit for its history. Thanks for introducing this place.

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  29. The architecture of Hampi looks quite fascinating! Those intrinsic designs are some great piece of work. Glad to know that they have preserved it so well!

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  30. What a wonderful place! It such an amazing and totally awesome! Yes I really want to experience that kind of place. It will be an unforgettable moment.

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